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Setting Goals

The first step in creating an enrichment programme is to set behavioural goals for each species or individual. It is important to understand the natural history of a species in order to set appropriate goals. A few things to think about include:

Habitat

What environmental conditions would they experience in the wild?

How would they interact with their habitat? Do they need to climb, hide, swim etc.?

Social

Do they live in groups?

What is the size or composition of these groups?

Do they interact with other species?

Is the social structure stable or is there a lot of aggression?

Behaviours

How do they find food and how long would they spend foraging or hunting?

Does the species exhibit any unique behaviours in the wild?

How active should they be?

Stereotypies

Are individuals displaying stereotypic or other undesirable behaviours?

Behavioural goals may be specific to an individual or a whole group. Observing behavioural patterns, perhaps through the use of a behavioural ethogram, is an important step in deciding which behaviours to encourage or discourage.

Below are some examples of documents that could be used to record and track behavioural goals.

Full versions of these documents can be downloaded for free from the resources page (Wild Within documents folder).

Example document for recording behavioural goals:

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